Facing retirement, Babus are on the prowl for CAT
By Yatish Yadav - NEW DELHI
Published: 03rd Feb 2013 11:20:43 AM
The central government’s list for the appointment of the administrative members to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), exclusively accessed by The Sunday Standard, reveals that the top brains in the bureaucratic system begin their hunt for greener pasture much before the date of retirement. Applications received for the position of administrative member in the CAT have been processed by the Department of Personnel and Training headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Fifteen officers—10 serving and five retired senior bureaucrats—were shortlisted by the Ministry last week. According to sources, this list will soon be forwarded to President Pranab Mukherjee for the final approval.
“This year alone 12 administrative members of the quasi-judicial body CAT will retire, paving way for the secretary-level officers in the government due to retire in 2013. Seven administrative members of the CAT will retire by the end of March, while five more will retire by the mid October,” sources added.
The list of senior bureaucrats shortlisted by prime minister for future CAT member includes UK Varma, a 1976-batch IAS officer of MP Cadre; S Vijay Kumar, a 1976-batch of Himachal cadre; P Uma Shankar, a 1976-batch of UP cadre; Vinay Mittal, a 1975-batch IRTS cadre; and Dr. Brahm Avtar Agrawal, a 1983-batch of Indian Legal Service. A senior official said the names shortlisted on the basis of experience and performances for CAT are the best in current pool of officers with government of India.
“A rigorous screening procedure was followed and all the officers selected were found to be agent of change in the system. They are found to be professionally very competent,” he added.
UK Varma is currently serving as the secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Famously known as ‘reformist’ and hard-task master, Varma earlier served as secretary, Small Scale Industries for over a year before joining Information and Broadcasting in 2011. Varma, who will retire in June 2013, has had at least three stints as special secretary in 2010 and as additional secretary between 2007 and 2009 in the I&B Ministry.
Another strong contender in the list, P Uma Shankar, who is secretary, Ministry of Power, will retire in June, 2013. Uma Shankar also worked as chairman and managing director of Rural Electrification Corporation Ltd under Ministry of Power.
S Vijay Kumar, secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development, earlier served as secretary, Land Resources in 2011 and secretary, Ministry of Mines, in 2010. A native of Tamil Nadu, Vijay Kumar is known for major reforms in the mining sector. He will retire in September 2013.
Vinay Mittal, chairman of Railway Board earlier served as general manager, South Eastern Railways. He also worked as the GM of North-Western Railways, ADGM of Central Railways. Mittal, instrumental in reform of railways’ commercial operation wing will superannuate in June 2013.
Dr. Brahm Avtar Agrawal, is currently serving as secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice, since April 2012. His current position has a fixed tenure of two years. Agrawal earlier served as member-secretary, Law Commission of India. The PMO has shortlisted his name, given his vast experience in handling the legal matters effectively.
According to the selection criteria, a person who served as secretary for two years (or equivalent to a pay of a secretary in the government), or additional secretary for five years, is eligible for the position of administrative member in the CAT.
The president in consultation with Chief Justice of India approves the list of selected members. They will have a fixed tenure of five years and as per the CAT Rules 1985 will be entitled to a salary and other facilities including official accommodation. In case of CAT benches in the state, the president appoints the members after consultation with the governor of the concerned state.
The Sunday Standard
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